Gerry McNamara can claim the title for his long career. He started at 16-years-old at the 52 kg class lifting raw. He placed 12th at the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) European Championship. It was a disappointing beginning but he was determined to reach the top of powerlifting.
At 19, he was back at the Worlds and this time he was the world champion at 56 kg in the junior division. At this championship, his lifts were 374, 242, and 374. This Winning meant a lot to Gerry, but his father was so proud of Gerry he put his gold medal around his neck to show his friends downtown. This made Gerry the first Irishman to ever win a world powerlifting championship. This happened in Norway in 1987.
For the next five years, Gerry was in limbo. Gerry found, like I did, that as he got older, he got a lot smarter and did his best lift after 40- years- old. After that five-year span of no progress, he began to use the Westside System. Now That he was world champ again while breaking the European record and he won the Champion of Champions Best Lifter award.
Not content in 1993, Gerry won the IPF World Games in Germany while setting European and World records. Gerry, along with two of his training partners, traveled from Ireland to Columbus, Ohio to visit Westside and talk training with Louie, me and the Westside gang. After the trip, Andy Fogarty and Sam Graham gave a pair of Patterdale Terriers to Chuck V. Those dogs were off the hook. I remember that visit like it was yesterday, even though it was 22 years ago.
We talked about all of Westside’s special training methods like percent training for speed strength, M-E workouts, contrast training with chains and bands, volume and intensities special exercises, and wave pendulum loading along with delayed transformation. Gerry and I are brothers from different mothers. We share the same goal of proving there are no limits.
Eight years after coming to Westside, Gerry made a historic lift squatting 903 at 72 kg, but he bombed on the bench and that organization would not count the record. But this did not stop Gerry from setting the world record at 148 weighing 67.4 kg. He made 806.9 – his all-time best. Now at 52- years- old, Gerry lifted on April 2016 and made 340 kg 749 at 60 kg. That was 5.7 times his body weight and totaled over 12 times his body weight. Yes, the second squat was a new world record.
Gerry has a resume like no other … 57 world records with three all-time world records, 67 European records along with 127 Irish records while winning 22 World Championships in every federation on this planet. Gerry is a sponsored athlete – sponsored by Titan since 1985. This in itself shows how loyal Gerry is. Not only is Gerry one of the greatest powerlifters of all-time, but an exceptional lifting and sports coach. His athletes are from the United States, South Africa, Finland, and of course, Ireland. His Westside certified gym – the only one in Ireland – has produced at least 20 world champions who have broken not only national records, but European and world records, along with one all-time world record.
When Gerry is not competing, he travels around the world to coach or referee, and most of the time on his own money. Because Gerry knows that I don’t travel, he comes to Westside as often as he can. There can never be anyone more determined and with such integrity toward Westside Barbell as Gerry McNamara. He knows what a true Westsider is … and that is what defines Gerry as a true brother in every sense of the Westside way.
Long Live King Gerry.
* PS – thanks to Jennifer Milliron for much of this info.